US-China Dialogue on Strategic Nuclear Dynamics

Note: Event times are displayed in your local time zone. The dialogue took place on March 23-23, 2017 (Washington DC time).

Link to Agenda
Link to Participant List
Link to Key Findings

Session 1: US-China strategic relations: The state of play
 
What is the state of the overall bilateral relationship? What will most influence it? How does each side assess the new US administration’s approach to China? What impact can we expect from the upcoming National Congress of China’s Communist Party? What are the implications for each side’s military strategies, postures, and modernization programs?
 
Presenters:
Bonnie GLASER (Pacific Forum)
FAN Gaoyue (Sichuan University)
 
Session 2: Organizing principles for the strategic relationship
What is/should be the organizing principle for the two countries’ strategic relationship? Will strategic stability work or should it be something else?  What other principle(s) could apply? Where do we agree and disagree about the requirements of stability? What does China need from the United States to gain confidence that the strategic military relationship will remain stable? What does the United States need from China? What has been the impact of a decade of track 1.5 dialogue on strategic nuclear dynamics?
 
Presenters:
Brad ROBERTS (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
 
Session 3: Integrated strategic deterrence
 
What are the differences, similarities, and interactions between conventional, nuclear, space, and cyber capabilities? How have the United States and China attempted to integrate these capabilities into their deterrent strategy and posture? What does “integrated” mean when we talk about integrated strategic deterrence? What is the relationship between integrated strategic deterrence and war control in US Chinese military thinking? What can the United States and China do to reduce the risks of unwanted escalation? [Discussion will focus and build on the “Rules of the Road in Nuclear, Space, and Cyber Domains” draft memo initiated at the June 2016 US-China dialogue.]
 
Presenters:
Phil SAUNDERS (National Defense University)
Elaine BUNN (US Department of Defense)
ZHUANG Jianzhong (Shanghai Center for RimPac Strategic and International Studies)
 
Session 4: Nuclear cooperation
                       
What strategic areas are fertile for US-China cooperation? What steps should the United States and China take to reassure each other? What steps should each side refrain from taking? What is the prospect for arms control between the two countries? What cooperative measures should they take to strengthen the global nuclear order, notably to combat nuclear proliferation and terrorism? In what fora (bilateral talks, the P5, for example) should they invest most to combat these threats? [Discussions about North Korea should be withheld for Sessions 5 and 6.]
 
Presenters:
Chris TWOMEY (Naval Postgraduate School)
Chunsi WU (Shanghai Institute for International Studies)

Session 5 – Preventing a crisis with North Korea
 
How can the United States and China cooperate to address the North Korean nuclear problem? What options do they have at their disposal? What end-goals can and should they pursue jointly? What strategy can/should they adopt? What are the benefits, risks, and costs of each approach? How can they overcome challenges?
 
Presenters:
Ralph COSSA (Pacific Forum)
LIU Chong (China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations)
 
Session 6: Managing a crisis with North Korea
                       
How can the United States and China cooperate to manage an escalating crisis stemming from a North Korean provocation? How does each side define a crisis? What are the best mechanisms for cooperation? What are each side’s goals and priorities in a crisis? [This session will include a debrief of the results of the tabletop exercise conducted at the 2016 track-1.5 US-ROK-Japan Strategic Dialogue.]
 
Presenters:
HAN Hua (Peking University)
Victor CHA (Pacific Forum)
 
Session 7 – Next steps for US-China strategic relations
 
Looking to the future, what should be the goals and priorities for US-China strategic relations? What specific steps are recommended to achieve them? What role can and should this dialogue play in that process?
 
Presenters:
Lewis A. DUNN (SAIC)
SHEN Dingli (Fudan University)
 

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